Why contactless transactions cause anxiety

As our budgets are cut to the bone, we are all more cautious about credit card fraud. Be it family, friends or a stranger, there is nothing more soul destroying than your hard-earned money being taken from you for something as frivolous as pizza. It makes me sick to my stomach.

The security experts at Specops Software were curious to find out public opinion on a feature we use daily, which is authentication. Whether that is unlocking our phones or logging into our online bank accounts.

But how many of us are comfortable using biometric authentication methods and how many would prefer to stick with tradition? Specops Software asked 3,740 Brits just that.

Which authentication method are people most fearful of using?
The research has revealed that people prefer traditional authentication methods over biometric authentications, with 78% saying they feel most comfortable using a traditional password. The token method comes next with 72% of people saying they feel safest using it.

We can’t say the same for some of the more technologically advanced security measures, like iris recognition and retina scan, as only 11% of people said they would feel comfortable using those.

While fingerprint recognition is growing in popularity, with many phone companies implementing this feature, only 42% of respondents said they feel truly comfortable using it.

How can I prevent an authentication hacking attack?

One of the main reasons for people being afraid of using certain authentication methods is due to hacking. With that in mind, Specops Software created a guide on how to prevent authentication hacking attacks and how to keep your private information safe.
1. Stay away from public Wi-Fi networks when logging into important accounts – whilst using public Wi-Fi, you make yourself more susceptible to Man-in-the-Middle attacks. Hackers can easily position themselves between your device and the connection/service, making you an easier target.
2. Implement multi-factor authentication when possible – This will offer you extra security and make it much harder for hackers to crack both of your authentication methods. Possible combinations include: password and one-time-code, password and text message, password and fingerprint.
3. Choose your password wisely – while you might be tired of hearing it, this is one of the most important steps in keeping your information safe. Hackers have many ways in which they can identify a weak password, from brute-force attacks to dictionary attack, so we advise staying away from Password1234 and be a bit more creative.
4. Keep your device up to date – If you want to keep your information safe, keeping your device updated is an important step, especially if you are using biometric authentication methods like fingerprints or face recognition. These updates will offer you critical protection against hackers who will take advantage of older systems without security patches.



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Editor in chief Suzi Dixon studied at Bournemouth university, went away for a while to work at The Daily Telegraph, then moved back to the sunny South coast for a quiet (er) life. Bournemouth News & Info is her website and she is assisted by the fabulous Fred From France in all things geeky and technical. Hire us to make your website, too, if you like.

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